Date of Award

9-2011

Degree Name

MS in Agriculture - Crop Science

Department

Horticulture and Crop Science

Advisor

Dr. J. Wyatt Brown

Abstract

Currently, when cauliflower florets are packed in a MA package, they can last 8 to 10 days at 7.2ºC. The goal of this research was to develop a prepackaging methodology that could extend shelf-life of cauliflower florets to at least 14 days at 7.2ºC. Various methodologies were used to treat the cauliflower florets, utilizing six GRAS (generally recognized as safe) chemicals and included various combinations, concentrations, and contact times. Chemicals included gaseous ozone, calcium chloride, citric acid, ascorbic acid, chlorine dioxide and sodium hypochlorite. The combination of 250 ppm ascorbic acid and 500 ppm citric acid pre-wash (30 seconds) and a 100 ppm hypochlorite wash (30 seconds, with pH adjusted to 6.5) proved to significantly reduce overall floret browning that develops in storage but did not reduce levels enough for it to be considered a commercially viable method. Further studies should explore the synergistic effects of combining enzymatic browning inhibitor treatments with microbial browning inhibitor treatments.